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Jan 18, 2018

Crispy Shrimp Snack Shack Tacos

These crispy shrimp snack shack tacos are what happens when tacos and quesadillas get married. 

Crispy Shrimp Snack Shack Tacos #tacos #shrimp #quesadillas #foodtruckfood

You prepare these crispy shrimp tacos differently than most tacos, especially when it comes to the cheese.

I love tacos, especially crispy tacos. I'm talking about the really sinful ones that are filled and then deep fried, not the crispy tacos made with the shells in the box from the grocery store (although they do have their place). I also love soft tacos, but if I had my choice, I'd always choose crispy.

Crispy Shrimp Snack Shack Tacos #tacos #shrimp #quesadillas #foodtruckfood

These crispy shrimp tacos are a little different. You prepare them by brushing the tortillas with oil, topping the tortillas with cheese and filling, and then baking them in a super hot oven until the cheese melts and the edges of the tortillas get crispy.

Crispy Shrimp Snack Shack Tacos #tacos #shrimp #quesadillas #foodtruckfood

Then you fold the tacos in half and top with lettuce and other garnishes, take a bite, and then jump up and down because they are so delicious!!

The shrimp filling in these tacos includes tomatoes, jalapeños, onion, lime juice, garlic, and a secret ingredient, a small amount of tomato ketchup. The ketchup adds a bit of sweetness and acidity to the shrimp mixture that somehow works.

Crispy Shrimp Snack Shack Tacos #tacos #shrimp #quesadillas #foodtruckfood

  1. I used pepper Jack cheese in these tacos for extra spiciness, but regular Monterey Jack would be just as melty. 
  2. Use 100 percent corn tortillas for these tacos. If you only have flour tacos, just make quesadillas with the cheese and filling. 
  3. I substituted fresh chopped cherry tomatoes for the two tomatoes in this recipe because they are more flavorful this time of year (winter). 
  4. Pair these tacos with Mexican hot sauce for serving. My two favorites are Tapatío and Cholula. 
  5. For this high oven temperature, be sure to use sturdy half sheet pans that aren't prone to warping, like this one or this one. I have both, and use them all the time.
  6. If you like fresh fish stock, be sure to keep and freeze the shrimp shells and tails to use later. Totally worth it. 
  7. Update: I have since used this oven baked method with a ground pork filling, and the method worked beautifully!
I made all twelve tacos called for in this recipe, even though there were only two of us. We each had three, and I wrapped up the leftover tacos individually in foil and refrigerated them. Unwrapped and reheated later in the toaster oven, these tacos were pretty darn fabulous! Just add a little more lettuce and cilantro and you're set. 

Crispy Shrimp Snack Shack Tacos #tacos #shrimp #quesadillas #foodtruckfood

This month for Fish Friday Foodies, Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla chose the theme, "Out of the Shell and Into the Pan." In other words, anything shellfish. If you are a fan of shellfish, check out the rest of the shellfish recipes from my Fish Friday Foodie friends. Just click on the photos after the recipe. 

I can't wait to make (and eat) these tacos again. They are that good. Trust me. 

Yield: 12 tacos, serves 4 to 6

Crispy Shrimp Snack Shack Tacos


  • 2 tomatoes, chopped (see note above)
  • 1 small brown or sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeño chile, minced (seeds removed or not, depending on your taste)
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined. 
  • 5 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 12 (6-inch) corn tortillas (I used white corn tortillas)
  • 8 ounces pepper Jack cheese (or Monterey Jack), grated
  • Shredded lettuce, chopped cilantro, lime slices, and hot sauce to garnish


  1. With the rack in the lowest position, preheat your oven to 450 degrees F. 
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the tomatoes, onion, jalapeño, ketchup, lime juice, garlic, salt, and pepper. 
  3. Slice the shrimp into 1/2 inch pieces. 
  4. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium to medium-high heat in a 12 inch skillet. Add the tomato/onion/jalapeño mixture and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until the mixture has slightly thickened. Reduce the heat a little and add the shrimp. Cook, stirring regularly, until the shrimp is just opaque. This should take about 2 minutes. Set aside. 
  5. Spread each baking sheet with a tablespoon of oil. Place 6 tortillas in each sheet (12 total), and brush with the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Evenly divide the Jack cheese among the 12 tortillas, and then top with the shrimp mixture. 
  6. Bake the tacos, one sheet at a time for about 9 to 10 minutes, until the edges are slightly browned. Sprinkle with the lettuce and cilantro, fold in half, transfer to individual plates or a serving platter, and serve with the lime wedges and hot sauce. Repeat with the second baking sheet. 

Crispy Shrimp Snack Shack Tacos #tacos #shrimp #quesadillas #foodtruckfood

Would you like to comment?

  1. These are going on my next Taco Tuesday menu...Little Miss loves shrimp so it is a perfect Toddler Tuesday meal as well.

  2. These just might be dinner tonight! Thanks for sharing.

  3. They say Taco Tuesday but I could eat these any day of the week.

  4. I'm a sucker for anything crispy...throw in shrimp and I'm pretty much in heaven!!! Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck - Colleen

  5. I'm a fan of tacos and quesadillas!

  6. These sound delicious, definitely my kind of thing!


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